Sharm el Sheikh

Sharm el Sheikh

For many, Sharm el Sheikh is the perfect holiday destination. What’s not to like about constant warm sunshine, endless pristine beaches and coral reefs framed by blue-glass waters that are perfect for diving and snorkelling? Sprinkle the area with some world-class yet affordable resorts; add an eclectic mix of stylish restaurants with local and international cuisines to suit every taste and finish with a profusion of vibrant and colourful shops, bars and restaurants and it’s easy to see why Sharm el Sheikh has transformed from a humble fishing village to one of the most popular destination’s on Egypt’s Red Sea Riviera.

Naturally, the beach and the sea are Sharm el Sheikh’s big attraction thanks to the abundance and diversity of exotic marine life to be found amongst the coral reefs: diving is practically compulsory here. But if you thought that a trip to Sharm el Sheikh had nothing more to offer than the opportunity to tan your torso, enjoy sumptuous meals and swim with the fishes you’re mistaken. There are exciting sights, experiences and activities aplenty in and around Sharm el Sheikh, and here’s our pick of five of the most unmissable.

Climb Mount Sinai

Whether you attempt the ascent of Mount Sinai in the early hours of the morning to witness the breaking dawn or trek by torchlight at night to obtain an unparalleled view of the glittering universe above the mountaintop, the ethereal atmosphere of this most spiritual place combined with the majesty of an Egyptian desert sunrise or sunset will cast an unforgettable spell over you.

Try your hand at Formula One Karting

Ghibli Raceway gives kids and adults the chance to test their driving skills in karts with speeds of 60kmph. Here you can whizz around a massive outdoor track full of straights, bends and hairpins that will get your adrenaline flowing and challenge your prowess behind the wheel. Don’t worry that your holiday will end in a trip to the local Accident and Emergency though; Ghibli Raceway places as much emphasis on ensuring total driver safety as it does on providing the most karting fun possible.

Haggle for a Fez

Perhaps not for the shy or faint-hearted, but if you’re a dedicated bargain hunter and enjoy arguing until you get the price you want you’ll enjoy the shops, stalls and atmosphere of the Old Market. Okay, so some of the designer handbags and watches maybe a little less than authentic, but amongst the wares on offer there are some genuinely desireable Egyptian souvenirs, handicrafts and spices to be had. If repeatedly dealing with charming yet persistent Egyptian vendors and restaurateurs becomes a tiresome, head to the nearby bazaar where all goods are priced at what you are expected to pay, and still represent good value.

Explore the Desert without Getting the Hump

For some reason every visitor to Egypt feels the need to jump on board the nearest camel and trek off into the desert as though it’s the ‘done thing’. Buck the trend, skip the camel and trek the desert in style in a 4WD Jeep or even on a quad bike. Besides nomadic Bedouins and the odd oasis a trip into the Sinai desert beyond Sharm el Sheikh may reward you with sighting of local wildlife such as red foxes, sand foxes, ibexes and the odd rodent or reptile.

Take in a Meal and a Show

Looking like something you’d find in Disneyland rather than Sharm el Sheikh, Alf Leila Wa Leila is a dedicated banqueting and entertainment complex which offers a nightly Moroccan feast and a host of shows and entertainments including an entertaining history of Egypt, a demonstration of horsemanship, a show of Egyptian folklore, traditional belly dancing, snake-charming and more. The emphasis is more on entertainment than on authenticity but don’t be fooled; standards are high and an evening at Alf Leila Wa Leila is undeniably fun and memorable.

[box color=”yellow” icon=”star”]Amy is a writer for Easyjet who operate cheap flights to Sharm El Sheikh from London, Manchester and Geneva.[/box]